Note: Thanks you to Wayne Dority from notes received years ago. Great message.
Title: Kindle The Fire
Theme: To show the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Text: Acts 28:1-10
Acts 28:1-10 Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live." But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god. In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days. And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary.
2 Timothy 1:6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Looking at Acts 28, I believe that there is nothing written in this book that is insignificant. God orchestrated everything in the life of Paul,
The smallest details are ordained by God.
Some of the most profound truths are in the details of God’s word.
Nothing that happened on this tiny island was by chance…
God was orchestrating it all.
The “when” of this event was significant…
The passage in acts that we read is the conclusion of a long journey that Paul and the crew of the Alexandrian ship. They were advised not to continue to sail by Paul and others yet they did anyway and it ends in disaster. But by the time they get done the Lord has been glorified. Paul had utter faith in God and told the crew and leaders that they were make it because God had given him a promise. He was going to Rome and an angel had appeared to him.
They had just survived what had to be one of the most traumatic events of their lives…
Caught for weeks in a terrifying storm
And finally shipwrecked on the shore of this strange little island.
We must realize that on the other side of the storm God may not bring us to a resort paradise,
But to a place where we can be a blessing to others.
The “where” of this event was significant
It was not by chance that they landed on this island … Often we’re so busy licking our scars and talking about the storm That we miss the real opportunity to make a difference for God.
What they did on this island was significant…
Down to the smallest detail.
Notice the first thing they did when they found themselves on this island.
Vs. 2,3 And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
They were tired, weary, they were in a confusing place and situation…
But they took time to build a fire.
The fire would comfort them.
The fire would change their condition. (Of being Cold and Wet, to Warm)
The fire would mark them… it would tell others where to find them. The fire will attract others.
The fire would guard them from the elements
Herein lies a spiritual key for our life.
When you’re weary, weak, confused And don’t know what to do…
Build a Fire!
- When the fire of the Holy Ghost gets in you, you will know it is God.
This is who we are on this Pentecost Sunday we are fire builders. Listen to Matthew 3
Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
2 Timothy 1:3-7 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, (4) greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, (5) when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. (6) Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (7) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
- They knew the fire represented the New covenant
- The Disciples knew it was God's presence.
Stir up the Holy Ghost Fire, in the desolate place.
That Holy Ghost fire will comfort you.
That Holy Ghost fire will change your condition.
That Holy Ghost Fire will mark you.
That Holy Ghost Fire will guard you from this old world.
I love Pentecost Sunday. This day reminds me so much of over 2000 years ago some disciples were sitting in the upper room waiting on the Holy Spirit to come. The Bible says they were there in one accord and we assume they were praying and seek the Lord when the fire came.
What does it take to Build A Fire? Understanding FOUR things.
I. Understand IT WASN’T A NEW FIRE… IT WAS A REKINDLED FIRE
This is not for a certain generation or age.
Acts2:15-18 "For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. (16) "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: (17) 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. (18) And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.
They found a fire that had already been kindled.
They didn’t have to start it by rubbing sticks together,
I’m not looking for a new fire, a new fad passing by… I want to rekindle that same fire that burned in Acts the 2nd chapter.
In the 18th century.
The Methodists traversed the country preaching anywhere and everywhere while the Episcopalians, Lutherans, & others sat in their comfortable churches.
It was said ,
The Methodists have the fire,
But the Episcopalians have the fireplace.
“Once you been in the fire, you won’t settle for the smoke.”
We have a fireplace, but we need the fire,
We need God once again, to give us the fire.
A. THE EMBERS OF PENTECOST ARE STILL GLOWING
God is still moving.
Your life will be determined by what you do with those glowing embers.
If we’ll rekindle it, we’ll soon see the flames and feel it’s power.
A fire that looks out, isn’t necessarily out.
If you stoke it, blow on it, feed it… soon it will be at full force again.
The world says the fires of Pentecost has gone out, some say that.
But the problem isn’t that the fires have gone out…
But that God’s people aren’t feeding the fire
Our cities don’t recognize that the church is on fire with the Holy Ghost.
Many don’t stir up the fire,
They’re afraid that it will get out of their control.
They want to contain it
They only want to go so far with God.
II. See that THIS FIRE HAD TO BE FED
Paul understood that the fire wouldn’t last long unless it was fed.
Vs. 3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, …
Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
filled - G4137 πληρόω plēroō play-ro'-o From G4134; to make replete, that is, (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.: - accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.
If you’re waiting on someone else to build you a fire,
You’ll be disappointed…
Waiting for an evangelist to stir up the fire
Waiting some singing group to stir up the fire
Waiting for the pastor
Waiting on brother or sister…
We must stir up that gift that is within us,
We’ve got to feed that fire in our own lives.
A. IT HAD TO BE FED THEN AND THERE.
Paul couldn’t wait for things to get better,
He needed to build a fire.
In darkest crises of his life, David “encouraged himself in the Lord.”
Learn to feed that fire when you don’t have anyone else to feed it.
When you don’t know what else to do… feed the fire.
When you feel like it… feed the fire
When you don’t feel like it…feed the fire.
When you’re the only one feeding it.. feed the fire
There’s no mention of anyone else feeding this fire
B. FEED IT THE DRY THINGS IN OUR LIVES.
Some people wait for their lives to just erupt in flames.
But when I feel a little dry I take those
And watch the Holy Ghost set them ablaze again in my life.
Dry things won’t last for long in the intense heat of the Holy Ghost.
Don’t miss one area… If it’s dry it belongs in the fire.
C. FEED IT ON THE PREPARED THINGS IN OUR LIVES.
It took effort on Paul’s part to “gather” that bundle of sticks…
He was preparing for the fire.
Is your heart, ready for the fire?
Have you prepared the way for the Holy Ghost to burn anew in your life.
Is your worship prepared before hand?
Is your faith prepared before hand?
Is your anticipation prepared before hand?
Will God find a prepared alter for Him to rain His fire upon?
III. Observe that THE FIRE BROUGHT OUT THE SERPENT
“There can’t be a victory unless there is a battle”
John 15:20 "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
2 Timothy 2:12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
The bible is very clear on what brought out the serpent
Acts 28:3 …there came a viper out of the heat,…
That old serpent the devil won’t bother the church as long as it’s cold and lifeless,
But as soon as Holy Ghost fires begin to stir he’ll raise his ugly head to prevent it.
The serpent latched onto Paul’s hand, That which was stirring and feeding the fire.
The devil will do anything to keep you from being on fire for God…
Anything to keep you from stirring things up for God.
A. OTHERS ARE QUICK TO CRITICIZE.
The natives on that island begin to whisper among themselves.
When God is working,
There’s always critics looking to judge what God is doing there.
Notice what they whispered…
Acts 28:4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffers not to live.
The enemy’s clan will declare…
“The church is going down, that the serpent has won”
The enemy declared
“No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffers not to live.”
The serpent even recruits church people to criticize
What God is doing at other churches… excuse for not growing
B. HE SHAKES THE SNAKE OFF INTO THE FIRE
This is the step we often miss. Put the snake in the fire. Let the fire deal with the serpent. We are not fighting flesh and blood. We get upset when we hear someone talking about the fire. Let the Lord deal with them.
He didn’t defend himself or try and deal with this serpent on his own.
Just stir up the fire a little more and the devil will have to go.
The grip that old serpent has on your situation…
He’ll have to let go in the heat of the Holy Ghost fire.
Stop trying to convince the devil to leave you alone. Stop arguing with the devil. If you are arguing with the devil you are saying the he has a place in your life, in your torment.
Stop trying to fight the devil in your own strength.
Shake him off in Holy Ghost worship, singing, shouting.
Paul could stand the heat, but the snake had to go.
Like the three Hebrew children, when we get in the fire with Jesus, that which has bound us has to let go.
C. HE FELT NO HARM
I like the result… Vs. 5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
They expected the hand of Paul to swell up and respond to the poison of the viper…but that didn’t happen.
When the devil attacks the outsider expects us to get all puffed up and filled with the poison of anger, strife and division…
But when we shake it off we feel no harm.
The devil will want you mad with everyone in the church… just shake it off.
The devil will want you to be poisoned by depression & discouragement… just shake it off in the fire of the Holy Ghost.
The devil will want you to give up on life… just shake it off in the fire & go on.
IV. Know that THIS FIRE WAS ONLY THE BEGINNING
Mark 16:17 "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; (18) "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
I believe that that physical fire had spiritual significance because of what happened after this event.
Because of that little fire and even because of the devil’s attacks revival would break out on that tiny island for 3 months.
Revival starts when we stir up the fire.
A. A REVIVAL THAT TURNS CRITICS INTO CONVERTS
Vs. 6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.
Holy Ghost revival has a way of changing peoples hearts and minds.
Don’t be angry at your critics or those who put you down…
They may be the ones that become your converts in the end.
God will work in your life in such a way that even your critics will have to admit that God is with you.
Do you need to shake off the devil tonight in the Holy Ghost fire?
Do you need to stir your life again until you feel Him blaze in your life?
Do you hunger for a revival that will cover our area?